Burglar who targeted Alness Drive house is jailed

A prolific offender who burgled houses and went on a spending spree with stolen bankcards has been jailed for over six years.

Andrew Minskip, 37, appeared in the dock this week accused of breaking into a house in Alness Drive, York on 29 August 2019.

Just before discovering the burglary, the homeowners were alerted by their bank that there had been a number of fraudulent transactions on their bankcard during the day.

Minskip was later identified by police officers on CCTV using the stolen bankcard in local newsagents.

He was tracked by a police dog the following week in the vicinity of a second burglary at the Buckles Inn on the A64 and arrested.

Following an investigation, Minskip was charged with the burglaries on Alness Drive and at the Buckles Inn, in addition to three others at houses on Lycett Road, in Skiddaw and Strensall Park.

He was also charged with two thefts, two counts of fraud and one count of driving with no insurance – all committed between 10 August 2019 and 7 September 2019.

Another man, 39 year-old Richard Sampson, was also caught after officers recognised him on CCTV using the bankcard from the Alness Drive burglary on a separate occasion, and was charged with two burglaries and two counts of fraud.

On Wednesday 15 January, at York Crown Court, Minskip, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty and was jailed for six years and three months. He was also ordered to pay a victims surcharge of £181.

Sampson, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to the two frauds and was jailed for seven months.

Commenting on the sentences, Investigating officer DC Kyle Boad of North Yorkshire Police’s Expedite team said:
“Minskip burgled his victims’ homes, helping himself to their personal possessions and bank cards before fraudulently using them to go on a spending spree around York. It was only a matter of time until we located and arrested him.
“Whilst no-one was hurt in this case, the trauma of knowing someone has broken into your home can’t be underestimated – the impact of burglary is devastating and long lasting for victims.
“Neither MInskip nor Sampson showed any remorse for their actions and denied all involvement in their crimes throughout the investigation. I hope that this outcome will provide some comfort to their victims in the knowledge that they are both behind bars where they belong.
What to do if you have been burgled

Ring 999 if you believe the offender is still in your house or has just run away; if not use the 101 number. You will be given a crime number to quote in an insurance claim, or if you want to contact police with any follow-up queries.

Try to preserve the crime scene for any forensic evidence that may be of use to the police. If possible, do not touch anything or allow your children or pets into the same rooms that the burglar has been in.

For more advice visit northyorkshire.police.uk/homesecurity

39 year-old Richard Sampson has been jailed for seven months

Crime levels in York

The latest crime figures taken from the nation policing web site (click) show a stable picture in York.

A lot of effort has gone into making the City centre safer and this shows with a slight downward trend in crime reports during the last 12 months.  The number of reports each month varies between 450 and 550. The largest number of incidents were reported in December 2018 so all eyes will be on the figures for last month when they become available.

Crime stats for York

Anti-social behaviour accounts for 34% of the reports.   This is in line with the popular conception that the City centre can be a rowdy environment at times.

Looking at the area outside the centre, which includes a large rural neighbourhood, crime reports have averaged around 1300 a month over the last year.

Anti social behaviour again is the most frequent report (31%) but is closely followed by “violence and sexual offences” (26%). The latter is mainly domestic disagreements.

A lot of historic information is available at a more local level.

Crime stats for the Westfield ward

In the Westfield Ward crime reports average around 150 a month.  Reports peak in the summer months.

Anti social behaviour (33%) and violence (28%) are the biggest issues.  10% of reports concern criminal damage (vandalism, graffiti etc) and arson.

Westfield crime reports in 2014/15

A graph of crime reports in Westfield (left), prepared 5 years ago, shows a very similar volume of issues.

The Police are currently recruiting additional officers and PCSOs in North Yorkshire.

Theft from vehicles exploiting key-less entry loop hole

The media are reporting today that a York Councillor’s car has fallen victim to a crime which may have exploited the vulnerabilities of “keyless” entry.

The incident, which took place “on street” in the Albemarle Road area of York, resulted in theft from the boot of the car.

Faraday pouch

You can find some advice on avoiding this type of theft via this link with more here

Essentially car owners are being recommended to store their car keys in a “Faraday Bag” which effectively blocks radio signals. One example is the “Defender” which can be found by clicking here

No doubt North Yorkshire police will be issuing more advice on what may be a growing issue.

Crime victims offered help in North Yorkshire

More victims of crime in North Yorkshire will have the opportunity to play a role in the criminal justice system with the launch of a new service to help victims receive answers and rehabilitate offenders by helping them to understand the hurt and fear they have caused.

The aim is to bring victim and offender together outside – but alongside – the criminal justice system to reduce reoffending and give victims answers and the ability to move on by making the crime, and the fear it causes, more personal and harder to ignore.

Emma, who has used the restorative justice service, said:

“Restorative justice has changed my life.

“It gave me an opportunity to talk about what happened using emotional words.

“For two and a half years it felt like the only words I heard were facts and evidence.

“What about me and my family and what he had done to us?

“It finally felt like my emotions had a voice that was being heard and acknowledged.

“My life kick started the minute I walked back to my car after the conference.

“I felt free of so many frustrations.”

If you have been the victim of crime and need help to cope and recover:

For the full story and a video that explains why restorative justice is important and how it works, visit: https://www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/news/rjlaunch/

Burglaries in Woodthorpe yesterday

The police are reporting that they have received the following two reports of burglaries in Woodthorpe in York.

Between 13.15pm and 18.15pm on Wednesday 20th November a property has been broken into on Deepdale and items taken.

If you have any information that could assist officers with their enquiries can you please call 101 and quote incident number 12190213779

Between 10.20am and 14.20pm on Wednesday 20th November a property on Ryecroft Avenue has been broken into and items taken.

If you have any information that could assist officers with their enquiries can you please call 101 and quote incident number 12190213583

Homes closed in Dale Street & Wensley House to stop drug-related anti-social behaviour

To tackle anti-social behaviour blighting the lives of neighbours, the courts have allowed the council has to close two council homes.

This action has been part of recent activity to curb drug trafficking from large cities to smaller towns, known as County Lines. This can involve criminal activity around a home which council and police officers have worked together to stop.

On 9 October, York Magistrates’ court issued a Premises Closure Order to the council for a home in Dale Street, off Nunnery Lane. This follows a number of criminal incidents, some of which involved drugs and violence. The police supported the council to secure the order which prohibits anyone except the tenant from entering or remaining the property. The tenant has since ended the tenancy and the flat will be re-let as soon as possible.

On Tuesday 5 November, the council secured the full closure of a flat at Wensley House, Holgate. This follows drug-related incidents involving offensive weapons which were attended by North Yorkshire Police, and who have backed the council’s action to close this home. The order will be in force for three months from the date of issue.

Premises Closure Orders are often used to break a cycle of anti-social and sometimes illegal and violent behaviour at the property. This may be caused or aggravated by visitors and can sometimes be out of the control of the tenant or encouraged by them.

It is a criminal offence to enter or remain in a property in breach of the terms of the closure order. Doing so can lead to penalties of up to a year’s imprisonment, fines or both.

Superintendent Lindsey Butterfield, Neighbourhood Policing Commander for York and Selby, added: “Tackling County Lines and the violence and antisocial behaviour associated with it is a major priority for North Yorkshire Police. It involves the exploitation of the young and the vulnerable and requires a response from not just the police, but many partner agencies too – we can’t do it alone.

“This action by City of York Council is a great example of true joint working and will help to disrupt the misery caused by out-of-town drug dealers in the neighbourhood.”

Cllr Denise Craghill, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods at City of York Council, said: “Criminal behaviour is unacceptable and these orders are very effective ways of ensuring that it stops.

“Premises closure orders, along with routine policing, can help breaking the cycle of criminality and repeat offending, with which a very small minority of people can blight the lives of neighbours and the immediate community. The closure comes at a cost of a much-needed council home which we hope to re-let as soon as possible.

“The courage of the local community in supporting us to stand up to this anti-social and criminal behaviour should not be underestimated.”

North Yorkshire Police to discuss increase in crime levels tomorrow

A meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) will hear how the  Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner intends to tackle an increase in crime levels in the area.  The meeting will be told that there some 3837 crimes reported during September.

Across the whole of North Yorkshire, including York, the Guildhall Ward had the largest number of crimes (212).

 In York it was followed by Huntington (91) and Westfield (79).

The largest proportion of crimes in York relate to violence (457), followed by theft (390), arson/criminal damage (153) and burglary (120). Perhaps surprisingly only 47 drug offences were reported.

Overall across the county there has been a 2.5% increase in crime levels this year so far compared to 12 months ago. Over the last two years the increase has been 16%. The biggest increase has been in public order offences. Violence against the person offences have increased from 5504 in 2017 to 7747 this year (up 40%)

There has been an increase in shoplifting in York this year. Recorded anti-social behaviour has however shown a reduction (-17%)

The scale of the problems with the Police switchboard are revealed.

222 calls to 999 were abandoned during August.

 There is a similar picture on 101 calls where 6050 were abandoned during July.

Time to answer on both channels improved during September.

The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and police staff deserve credit for producing figures which can be accessed via the web. Click here   The sheer size of the county, and its diversity, make it difficult to produce performance stats which are both accessible and relevant to local neighbourhoods.

There is some good work going on at neighbourhood level with police in west York proactively checking security issues this week

There will, however, be niggling doubts about some aspects of crime prevention.

Lack of reports of drug related crime is probably not the right way to access the scale of that issue.

Equally worrying is the failure of the force to recruit up to its budgeted staff numbers. There were estill over 30 vacancies for police officers in the force in September. The police don’t expect to hit their target number (1450 officers) until December. There are also 36 vacancies for PCSOs.

Performance stats for the Fire service can be viewed by clicking here

Bothered by unwanted sales telephone calls?

Anti scam campaign by North Yorkshire Police. This seems like a good idea

Nearly 50% of all frauds reported to North Yorkshire Police, the initial contact between the fraudster and victim is via the telephone.

You would not dream of going of leaving your house or car without making sure it was secure, so in this day and age why would you have a telephone that does not have call screening or call blocking functions?

Put a stop to these calls and become #ScamAware with a free trueCall call blocker from Friends Against Scams

Apply today at: www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk/CallBlocker

Action needed, Action taken

Mixed outlook on several outstanding public service issues in west York

We’ve reported a broken utility sign at the top of Grange Lane
Exposed cables have been tied to street signs in Milner Street for several weeks now.
Graffiti and litter continue to blight the Grange Lane snickets
We’ve suggested that hard core be used to make footpaths in the Grange Lane Westfield Park usable in wet weather
New record holder for the largest weed award. This 3 metre monster in Dijon Avenue next to a telegraph pole.
Loose rubbish continues to blight the rear of Front Street
Overgrown snicket on Gale Lane becoming a crime concern. We”ve asked the Ward Councillors to act.
Reported yet again litter, detritus and weeds on the Tithe Close snicket. Issue recorded by the Council as “solved” Clearly not!
Weeds flourishing on Hotham Avenue
….and Foxwood Lane
….and School Street

….But weeds cleared from Dijon Avenue garage area by Council. Now looks very tidy.

& another burglary, this time in Askham Lane

At approximately 4:20 today (11/09/2019) there has been a burglary on Askam Lane. 2 offenders possibly ran towards the Tedder Road / Cornlands Road area.
If you saw anything suspicious or have any information that will assist the police with their enquiries please call 101 and state the reference number – NYP – 11092019 – 0341